Health systems research, evidence-informed decision making
Having trained in South Africa and the UK, I have worked for over 20 years in the field of health policy and systems research. I have a keen interest in how research evidence can be used to inform decisions for health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and at the global level in multilateral organisations such as the WHO. My methodological interests include approaches for undertaking systematic reviews of complex health system interventions, and methods for synthesizing the findings of multiple qualitative studies and assessing confidence in such findings. Together with colleagues, I coordinated a landmark series of papers on the GRADE-CERQual approach for assessing confidence in findings from systematic reviews of qualitative studies. I am currently exploring how qualitative evidence can contribute to humanizing health decision making through highlighting the perspectives of key stakeholders – this work was highlighted in the recent Global Symposium on using qualitative evidence to inform decisions in the SDG era which we organized together with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Brasilia. As Joint Co-ordinating Editor of Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) and lead for the Norwegian EPOC satellite, I have played a key role in strengthening Cochrane’s work in the field of health systems and in developing Cochrane methods for qualitative evidence synthesis. I work with partners in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, South Africa and Uganda and with the EPOC LMIC network. In addition to my NIPH role, I am a Chief Specialist Scientist at the South African Medical Research Council, an Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and sit on a number of WHO Advisory Committees.